Continuous passive motion following total knee arthroplasty: a useful adjunct to early mobilisation?

Grella, Ryan J.

The objective of this review was to determine the effectiveness of continuous passive motion (CPM) following total knee arthroplasty when compared to a rehabilitation protocol that permits early knee mobilisation, and to determine if an optimal CPM dosage schedule exists.  Eight investigations met inclusion criteria for this review. There was strong evidence that CPM exerts no influence on short and long-term knee extension, long-term knee flexion, long-term function, pain, complications, and length of hospital stay when compared to a rehabilitation protocol that permits early knee mobilisation. Data for short-term knee flexion, quadriceps strength, and short-term function were conflicting. Preliminary evidence suggests that CPM applied immediately postoperatively, at a high flexion arc of motion, and for a significant amount of time each day leads to better outcomes with regards to short-term knee flexion.

With rehabilitation protocols now permitting early knee mobilisation, the use of CPM as an adjunct should be questioned as the current body of research generally does not support its use.

Physical Therapy Reviews, 2008, 13(4), 269-279(11)

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